Losing a loved one is a confusing, horrible, and terrible mess. Even when you see it coming, you can still feel broken over the way things turned out and have trouble figuring out what to do next. And when grief itself is such a messy thing, it’s often next to impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
It’s why people have such mixed reactions to a bereavement. Losing someone can impact us in so many ways, and in so many opposite ways, meaning it can be hard to even find some common ground with other people it’s happened to. And because of that, it’s important to normalize every kind of reaction to grief; here are a few to know about.
You May Overeat OR Struggle to Keep Up with Meals
Grief is often thought to cause a loss of appetite. Losing a loved one can make you feel numb inside, which means all thoughts of eating go out of the window. Similarly, loss can make you physically sick too, which makes it hard to keep anything down.
But grief can also cause a person to overeat, or ‘comfort eat’. It’s thought that a response like this allows a person some familiarity during an unsure time. This makes ‘bingeing’ another very common response, and it shouldn’t be looked down on.
You May Want to Work All the Time OR Not at All
Loss can make us want to throw all in with something that distracts us or it might stop us in our tracks and make us feel helpless. In a time like this, it’s important not to pressure yourself.
You don’t have to be doing one or the other, and you don’t have to feel like you’re in the wrong for only wanting to work or needing to take a break. You can do both, or you can do neither. A lot of people find healthy middle ground in cutting back their hours for a little while but still working a few days a week.
You Might Sleep a Lot More OR Develop Insomnia
Sleeping a lot is common with symptoms of depression, and these can occur during grief. Your body is at its lowest point and needs to rest, and there’s nothing wrong with taking time to nap or meditate as you need to.
Similarly, insomnia is very likely when you’re dealing with the aftermath of a sudden loss. Say you’re currently seeking compensation after fatal truck accidents in which a loved one suffered – the investigation into the case, the chance you may lose any compensation, and the anger surrounding the circumstance is likely to keep you up at night.
Just remember, either response is normal and you’re allowed to grieve in your own way. But if you haven’t slept well for a couple days or more, it’s best to see a doctor.
Losing a loved one can cause a variety of feelings and behaviors. Recognize them and treat yourself appropriately.
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